Harrar ( the walled city)

Harar is an ancient walled Ethiopia city. Possessing as many as 99 Mosques, Harar is considered to be the third holy city of Islam. In Ethiopia

as Axum was the window for Christianity, Harar is the same for Islam.

Historically, Harar has been a controversial issue among historians. To some the establishment of Harar goes back as the 7th century and to others to the 9th century.

The wall of Harar is locally known as the Jegol, The old city cramped within its ancient walls, the new extending freely. The walls are believed to have commenced by Ibn al Wazir Mujahid Nur, a nephew of Ahmed Gragn, who is said to have dug a defensive trench around the town. The wall is pierced by six gateways, five of them derived from ancient times, though the original gates are no more. Two other were added by Ethiopian Government, but one of the later was destroyed by the Italians.

Harar as a modern urban center has different kinds of people. These people have different language and different ways of dressing. The people are known as the kotu Oromo, Harari, Somali and Amhara.

One important attraction in Harar is the market place. Just outside of the Shoa gate of the wall of Harar is a large sloping area devoted to daily marketing. People come from all around Harar to participate in the market. Much of the trading in the market places is carried on by women, who like to dress their hair in twin buns back of each ear and who are addicted to wearing shawls of brilliant orange or red. The men prefer to wear sarong-like skirts.

Harar is the only city in the world where hyenas are fed by human hand. There is a place in Harar along the wall of the old city where at night one can see " Hyena men" who have their pets among these scavengers and call them forth to be fed by hand.

The palaces of Emperor Menelik Ras Mekonnen's Mausoleum and palace, the ancient Jami mosque and the church of Medhani Alem are some of the attractions worth visit. In addition there are a number of caves in Harar area these caves are dated back to prehistory and are known for their paintings.

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